Student Wins National German Contest

Ben Winston, Managing Editor

Ward Melville student Jeffrey Michel is the recipient of a four-week trip to Germany after winning the 2014 AATG competition. Michel, a student of the German language for several years, confirmed his knowledge in both written and oral examinations with this accomplishment.

The competition began with a written component. Students scoring above the 90th percentile advanced.  Michel and classmate Heidi Scarth qualified for the next round of the competition. Unfortunately, Scarth was barred from advancing due to a minimum age requirement. Successive forms, essays and interviews determined the chapter representative. Chapter nominees from throughout the entire nation then submitted exhaustive applications to determine a national winner. Impressively, Michel was the winner. He placed in the 99th percentile and was only one of 44 students awarded this opportunity.

Many of the thirteen contestants were recognized for their extensive comprehension. Most of the Ward Melville competitors attributed their success to their language teachers and countless years of studying the language. Michel, too, shared this appreciation. He remarked, “My parents were the ones who got me initially interested in learning German, so I thank them for that. And of course my German teachers, both Frau Aweh and Herr Esser; I must thank them. They’ve both taught and made the German language and culture interesting to me over these past four years.”

Michel’s summer trip to Germany will continue his passion for and skill in the German language. For three weeks he will live with a German family while attending German school. He will spend another week travelling exploring throughout Berlin. Michel enthusiastically voiced his excitement for the trip. He exclaimed, “I’ve been told by many that the best way to learn a language is to be immersed in it. With this trip to Germany, I’ll be thrown headlong into the German language and culture, so, whether I’ll notice it or not, I will be continuously picking up new subtleties of the language. ”

All the Ward Melville students faired well in the 2014 AATG competition, with Jeffrey Michel receiving additional acknowledgment for his mastery of the language. Congrats to Jeff and all the Ward Melville German students.